Holy wars and heaven go back a long time. Pope Urban II, he called for a holy war upon infidels in 1095 and promised paradise as reward.

Islam has got such bad press that slay-an-infidel, go-to-paradise is now thought to be a patently Islamic concept, its copyrights collectively belonging to Muslims and passed on to generations as heirloom. Read more

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Sumaiyah Ahmed, 24, is a gown-full of surprise: a burqa-clad postgraduate researcher on foreign affairs. You may want to meet her at the Delhi-based JNU’s Centre for West Asian Studies. She hails from Warangal, Andhra Pradesh.

Aftab Ahmed, 26, scans see-sawing world markets for global clients from his hub-and-spoke newsroom at Reuters-Thompson’s Bangalore office. He is from Darjeeling. Read more

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My two eyes, Gandhi called Hindus and Muslims. Like Icarus, who flew so close to the sun on wings of wax that he fell, Gandhi would go so far chasing unity, he would fall to bullets.

Had it been set in Delhi’s Birla House instead of Dublin, the opening of Irish novelist Edna O’Brien’s biography of James Joyce would have been equally true of Gandhi: Read more

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Today I convert, though momentarily but happily, willingly. For all my faith, I am determined to consider the Babri Masjid issue without my skullcap on. I tried being a Hindu for a while, not quite the practising way, but hopefully sincerely enough to reflect on what the dust of the Babri mosque should give rise to. Read more

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