Shaykh Anwar Shah’s Presidential Address (1927)

Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (1875-1933), a native of Kashmir, was a leading Islamic scholar and taught in the Darul-’Uloom at Deoband, India’s premier Islamic madrasa. Among the many Muslims who crusaded for the country’s independence from the British and called for an India where people of all communities could live together in peace and harmony and justice were numerous Deobandi ulama. Their leading role in the freedom struggle and in the effort to form a united front of all religious communities for a new India have, sadly, been largely forgotten. It is crucial that such voices be retrieved and an important part of Indian history—the heroic role of many Muslim leaders in the movement for free India—be brought before the general public.This translation of certain sections of a lecture of historical importance by Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri is a small effort in this regard.This lecture was delivered by Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri as a presidential address to the 1927 Peshawar meeting of the Jamiat ul-Ulama-i Hind. The lecture, recently published in Urdu by the Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Research Centre (Kokerbagh Dak Khana, Nowshehra, Srinagar, Kashmir) runs into over a hundred pages in the original Urdu. The Presidential Address of Hazrat Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri to the Annual Session of the Jamiat ul-Ulama-i Hind, Peshawar, 1927. Continue reading →
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Stuart Hall: Has Multiculturalism Failed?

The Prime Minister recently criticised what he called ‘state multiculturalism’ and said it had failed, arguing that Britain needs a stronger national identity. Is it time to turn our backs on the multi-cultural idea? And what would a stronger national identity mean to people who feel at the cultural margins of our society? As the politicians debate, Laurie Taylor speaks to Britain’s leading cultural theorist, Stuart Hall. They discuss culture, politics, race and nation in a special edition of Thinking Allowed. 

‘I’m A Muslim, but I’m Not a Terrorist’: Segregation vs Integration

Integration as social policy in the UK has fallen short of delivering anything but inequality and injustice. Rather, in its use since 9/11 it has become a convenient banner under which it is justifiable and convenient to target and discipline British Muslims. This was clearly demonstrated by David Cameron’s recent speech on the ‘failure of multiculturalism’, categorically singling out Muslims as most in need of integration into British values. The contemporary debate has reduced all social issues to questions of cultural differences and conflicting value systems. Public voices in the media have now made it fashionable and respectable to possess anti-Muslim sentiments.  Continue reading →