A French parliamentary report on January 26 called for a ban on the burqa, the full Islamic veil. “The wearing of the full veil is a challenge to our republic. This is unacceptable,” the report said, adding: “We must condemn this excess.” Click here for full French text.

If anything, it is the French proposal that is excessive and extreme. It infringes on some bedrock freedoms. In that sense, it’s so anti-French. It stigmatises both Islam and Muslim women. Read more

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Why “They Call Me Muslim”, I have often been asked. How about “They Call Me Indian” instead? What if someone were to write under a competing title, “They Call Me Hindu”?

At times, the query may have popped out of naivety, but mostly, there seems to be a question behind the question. Read more

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Israel evokes varying degrees of hostility in the Muslim world because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, a sea change in India’s relations with Israel has taken place, as we become Israel’s closest ally in Asia. What Indian Muslims should make of this, I thought, as I saw fenced-off Palestinian homes just outside Jerusalem? Read more

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Many people I met during my recent visit to Israel — which kept me away from this blog for a fortnight — suggested the impossible. It’s this: left to the people of Palestine and Israel, peace is possible. Read more

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