The Muslim Institute website brings you regularly updated, thought provoking and reflective articles that take a serious and reasoned look at contemporary issues encompassing a diversity of Muslim opinion and ideas.

Kabul-Taliban Talks in Murree: A Breakthrough, or Business as Usual? by Iftikhar H Malik

Current affairs
Buried amidst the banner news on varying shades of Greek economic distress and the cat-and-mouse game among the ethnic and sectarian contenders in the Levant, a dramatic but no less crucial development regarding Afghanistan has remained rather confined to the margins. On 7 July, the second-tier leadership of the Taliban and Kabul government met in the summer resort of Murree to ...

'Much of what we believe in is manufactured dogma' the long read with Ziauddin Sardar

Front Highlight
Ziauddin Sardar is a firm believer in engaging with Muslims and interpreting the Sharia according to the needs of contemporary times. That obviously is not the dominant thought in the current times where Islam is seen as a signifier of violence and when, in his own words, “one particular interpretation of Islam, which unfortunately is the most backward, narrow-minded and obscurantist, is ...

The secret world of ISIS training camps - ruled by sacred texts and the sword by Hassan Hassan

Current affairs
Hamid Ghannam’s first day at an Islamic State (Isis) training camp was intense. Very early on the morning of 13 August, he picked up his packed clothes and walked quickly to the main street in his village to meet three of his cousins. As with many of Isis’s young members, he did so without informing his parents. The cousins drove in a white minibus to an Isis camp at the ...

The Shari'ah and Post-Secularisation in the Writings of Khaled Abou El Fadl And Abdullahi an-Na'im by Dr Mohammed Moussa

Front Highlight
The twin ideas of secularity and secularisation are linked to the freedom of human agency to fashion the world we live in. And without due hindrance from theocratic worldviews or political orders. However, are these two concepts necessarily irreligious or are they simply instances of the perennial negotiation by human beings with the idea of the divine? A 'talking back', if you like, ...

Modi Machine Moves On: India at Its Watershed by Iftikhar H. Malik

Current affairs
Amidst euphoric hopes and subterranean worries, it may still be slightly early to pass a verdict on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s successes during his early honeymoon months, following a landslide electoral victory by his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP’s broad sweep in the May elections, followed by the oath taking ceremony with the South Asian heads of governments and ...

Who Are Boko Haram? by Peter Tinti

Current affairs
Last week, Islamist sect Boko Haram bombed a bus station just outside the Nigerian capital of Abuja. That same day, as authorities were tabulating a body count from the explosions that would eventually reach 71, Boko Haram militants disguised as Nigerian soldiers kidnapped over 200 girls from a school in the country’s northeast. Several of the girls have since ...

The Limits of Muslim Liberalism by Zaheer Kazmi

Religion
In his semi-fictional account of Barbary Coast Pirate Utopias, Peter Lamborn Wilson traces the unwritten dissident history of a communion of outsiders — heterodox Muslims and Christian renegades. Unanchored from the conformist dictates of law and organized religion, “temporary autonomous zones” like the Coast flourished for a time between the 16th and 18th centuries, and ...

Abdolkarim Soroush's Nectar of Prophecy and History by Mohammed Moussa

Current affairs
Not many individuals can draw out a full crowd of people, including students and members of the general public, to a brightly-lit large lecture theatre at a British university. The audience await the appearance of Abdolkarim Soroush to give the 2012 Sir Karl Popper Memorial Lecture at the London School of Economics. In the last decade, Soroush has indubitably become one of the most familiar ...

Beyond Religion - Beyond Science by Jameela M Boardman

Religion
Maybe Islam was never meant to be a "Religion"! There is a big difference between "religious" and "spiritual" people, as there is a big difference between those who "believe" in God and those who "are of" God! The difference is between External and Internal: meaning that learned religion and beliefs must come from the outside of oneself, ...

Brandino and The New Convert

Religion
I received this from a friend a few weeks ago: Hello Brandino Here is an interesting article I came across. I hope you are well. Abbas As-salam alaykum all: BELOW is my shahada speech. It expresses my journey thus far, and the embrace of Islam that I have come to MashAllah. I appreciate any suggestions you may have for me as I grow in my ...