What after all is jihad? From an India-Pakistan perspective, few people can answer this question better than Pakistani-American writer and Mary Richardson professor of history at Tufts University, Ayesha Jalal. Her book, Partisans of Allah: Meanings of Jihad in South Asia (2008), puts this core concept of Islam in perspective for the subcontinental audience. Read more

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Osama bin Laden’s death must be weighted against what conditioned – and continues to condition — global jihad. Or else, America’s jubilation over the death of its Most Wanted may be short-lived. Read more

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Those whom BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani has endeared on the way will find in his slow ride into the sunset the last chapters of a tragedy written years ago: Advani’s rise at the expense of all he stood for. He was a ‘good man fallen’ among saffronites. Read more

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Our journeys as separate nations — India and Pakistan — are seeded in the subtlest of ironies. Our founding father Mahatma Gandhi was the most devout of Hindus and yet he dreamt of a secular India. Pakistan’s Mohammed Ali Jinnah, while being a non-practising Muslim who loved his ham and wine, came to found a non-secular religious State. Read more

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Is it true that sex is considered a right in Islam?

Muslim women have a right to sex. She can seek divorce on the grounds of sexual displeasure or impotence. Cooking and household chores are not considered binding duties. Making herself available for sex (to her husband), however, is considered a duty of a married woman. Read more

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