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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Corporate America swears by the Gita - Faithwise Review of the Week

  • Corporate America swears by the Gita Chidanand Rajghatta
    [ 25 Oct, 2006 0307hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
    WASHINGTON: Corporate America is embracing Indian philosophy in a big way.

    Suddenly, says Businessweek magazine in its latest issue, phrases from ancient Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gita are popping up in management tomes and on Web sites of consultants. Top business schools have introduced "self-mastery" classes that use Indian methods to help managers boost their leadership skills and find inner peace in lives dominated by work.

    BW calls its "Karma Capitalism" -- a gentler, more empathetic ethos that resonates in the post-tech-bubble, post-Enron zeitgeist. And where it used to be hip in management circles to quote from the sixth century B.C. Chinese classic The Art of War, it says, the trendy ancient Eastern text today is the more introspective Bhagavad Gita. Full story

  • Sikh woman discriminated against in US, Thursday October 26 2006 23:12 IST
  • Christians back plans for Muslim community centre despite threats -29/09/06
    Christian leaders in Cumbria are backing a plan for a Muslim Community centre and prayer room, despite threats against those who support it. @ Faith Commons
  • Detroit case dismissed over Muslim veil, Oct. 25, 2006 at 1:51PM, United Press International -- The Washington Times
  • Ghana: B/A Chief Imam Calls for Good Sanitation Among Muslim Communities, Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra),
    October 25, 2006, Posted to the web October 25, 2006, Michael Boateng, Sunyani
  • Joking about with Allah, Thursday October 26, 2006, By Scott Kara, The New Zealand Herald
  • Islamic studies 'letting down' multicultural needs, Press Association, Wednesday October 25, 2006, Guardian Unlimited
    The report, entitled Time for Change: Report on the Future of the Study of Islam and Muslims in Universities and Colleges in Multicultural Britain, was written by Abd al-Fattah El-Awaisi and Malory Nye.
    Prof El-Awaisi said: "The call for a new agenda is timely and necessary to prevent the misguided and narrow interpretation of Islam which is the source of so many problems in our multicultural society.
    "It is only through multicultural education we can work to eliminate extremism and fundamentalism."
    The report found most British non-Muslims do not "get" Islam and do not understand what makes Muslims "tick".
  • A small strip of cloth symbolizing Islamic separateness MARGARET WENTE , 24/10/06, Globe and Mail,
    A decade ago, political scientist Robert Putnam described America 's waning social cohesion in the bestselling book Bowling Alone. Now he has turned his research to diversity and multiculturalism -- and his findings are sobering. Ethnic diversity, he has found, breeds mistrust. Communities where many ethnicities live together have lower amounts of trust between people than those that are more homogeneous. "In the presence of diversity, we hunker down," he writes. "The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined."
    Mr. Putnam is quick to stress that trends aren't destiny, and there's plenty that can be done to make diversity work. But whether that diversity should include the veil is not an issue that will be settled soon. In Italy , which now has a million Muslims, Prime Minister Romano Prodi declared last week that in his opinion, women shouldn't wear veils that hide the face. Then a leading conservative politician named Daniela Santanchè weighed in, arguing that the veil is a symbol of female oppression and is not required by the Koran. A prominent imam lashed back, calling her an "infidel" and much else. Ms. Santanchè has now been offered police protection.

  • The two-faced Tipu Sultan M V Kamath, Free Press Journal,, Wednesday, 25 October, 2006
    Early in 1990, the BJP sought a court injunction to prevent the screening in India of a television serial entitled The Sword of Tipu Sultan. The serial was based on a novel written by Bhagwan S Gidwani. A case was made out that Tipu had not been secular as was generally believed and did not deserve to be an icon.

    Once again, Tipu is in the news with Karnataka's Minister of Higher Education D H Shankaramurthy questioning Tipu's Kannada credentials, considering that he used Persian, and not Kannada as the language of administration. A fierce controversy has been raised. And the liberal, secular Hindu intellectuals have demanded the dismissal of Shankaramurthy, with the leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) H D Deve Gowda screaming that he would not allow the secularism of the JD (S) Karnataka government being polluted. full story

    Read more hard-hitting columns
    Karnataka MLC Prof B K Chandrashekar is reported to have said that Shankaramurthy need to know history. Indeed, everyone should, including Chandrashekar himself. One can recommend to him two excellent books, one written by Praxy Fernandes, a south Kanara Roman Catholic (and a former IAS officer, 1947 cadre) entitled The Tigers of Mysore and another written by Australian scholar Kate Brittlebank entitled Tipu Sultan's Search For Legitimacy, with the sub-title ‘Islam and Kingship in a Hindu Domain.’ Both are brilliantly researched and are as objective as one can expect. Both give high marks to Tipu for his religious tolerance, for his respect for all religions, for his reverence to the head of the Shringeri mutt, recounting how Tipu sent a silver palanquin and a pair of silver chauris to the Sarada temple.

    This must be compared to reports in the Mysore Archaeological Survey quoted by Brittlebank that at least three Hindu temples within his realm had been destroyed by Tipu: the Harihareshwar temple at Harihar which was "apparently plundered and part of it converted into a mosque," the Varahswami temple in Seringapatam and the Odakaraya temple in Hospet "said to have been destroyed". Does that mean that Tipu was a Muslim fanatic? Hardly.

    see also: Tipu Sultan Portal

    Anonymous said...

    On the news item: The two-faced Tipu Sultan
    These are mudslinging for political puposes & should be ignored.Media is covering both angles

    A R Kamaruddin

    Anonymous said...

    on the news item: A small strip of cloth symbolizing Islamic separateness

    The issue for "moderate Muslims", as Tony Blair calls such as myself, is not so much the right to wear what one wishes but the effect of an apparently vociferous and belligerrant minority of co-religionist on non-Muslims' perception of our faith, when they confuse the freedom granted them by democratic, Western countries, with all that entails regarding society's struggle to respect notions of human rights, and a religious obligation.

    There is no requirement in Islam for women to cover their faces, hands, and feet. And no intelligent person from among those who call so loudly for their democratic right would ever claim such a requirement existed for fear of being shown to have introduced an innovation into the faith.

    For what it's worth, here is my own quatrain (cf. Omar Khayyam's Rubayyat) on the topic, which is a reflection on verse 1 of chapter 66 of the Koran:
    How, as a Muslim, I behave need not 'Islamic' be.
    Permitted things exceed by far what is required of me.
    Obscure not truth behind a veil, but heed the Word of God:
    "O Prophet, why doest thou forbid what I have granted thee?"

    (Dr) Roderic Vassie
    York, England

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