Category: Cover Story

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ABU DHABI:The recent inauguration of the BAPS temple in Abu Dhabi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlights an interesting irony. This grand temple stands in the Muslim-majority UAE, where secularization is on the rise. This event comes shortly after the inauguration of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir in India. While Modi’s government in India blurs the lines between the state and Hindu faith and undermines minority rights, the UAE moves in the opposite direction. The UAE’s secularization, influencing Saudi Arabia as well, is a significant development in the Islamic world. This shift challenges India’s secular values. The UAE has attracted people of various religions and backgrounds to live and work there. Despite Islam being the official religion, the government allows diverse religious practices. Non-Muslims, forming a quarter of the population, have space to worship freely, with many churches, a synagogue, and a gurdwara present. Hindu gatherings and celebrations are also welcomed. The UAE’s tolerance extends beyond religion. Alcohol and pork are available, and Ramadan fasting rules are relaxed. Women have freedom in dress, and discrimination based on religion is rare. These progressive attitudes influence neighboring Saudi Arabia, where Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is spearheading modernization efforts by reducing Islamic influence and cutting support for radical groups worldwide. This trend towards secularization in the UAE and potentially Saudi Arabia marks a significant shift in the Islamic world. For India, reduced Saudi funding for conservative mosques could lead to a return to moderate religious guidance for Indian Muslims. The UAE’s example challenges the Hindu nationalist dream of a Hindu majoritarian state, often compared to Saudi Arabia’s treatment of non-Muslims. Modi, at the temple inauguration, praised the UAE’s diversity, contrasting India’s fading secularism. As Hindu residents in UAE face this contrast, it prompts reflection on India’s trajectory. The writer, a private equity investor, emphasizes the importance of embracing diversity and secular values in both countries.

ABU DHABI:The recent inauguration of the BAPS temple in Abu Dhabi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlights an interesting irony. This grand temple stands in the Muslim-majority UAE, where secularization is on the rise. This event comes shortly after the inauguration of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir in India. While Modi’s government in India blurs the lines between the state and Hindu faith and undermines minority rights, the UAE moves in the opposite direction. The UAE’s secularization, influencing Saudi Arabia as well, is a significant development in the Islamic world. This shift challenges India’s secular values. The UAE has attracted people of various religions and backgrounds to live and work there. Despite Islam being the official religion, the government allows diverse religious practices. Non-Muslims, forming a quarter of the population, have space to worship freely, with many churches, a synagogue, and a gurdwara present. Hindu gatherings and celebrations are also welcomed. The UAE’s tolerance extends beyond religion. Alcohol and pork are available, and Ramadan fasting rules are relaxed. Women have freedom in dress, and discrimination based on religion is rare. These progressive attitudes influence neighboring Saudi Arabia, where Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is spearheading modernization efforts by reducing Islamic influence and cutting support for radical groups worldwide. This trend towards secularization in the UAE and potentially Saudi Arabia marks a significant shift in the Islamic world. For India, reduced Saudi funding for conservative mosques could lead to a return to moderate religious guidance for Indian Muslims. The UAE’s example challenges the Hindu nationalist dream of a Hindu majoritarian state, often compared to Saudi Arabia’s treatment of non-Muslims. Modi, at the temple inauguration, praised the UAE’s diversity, contrasting India’s fading secularism. As Hindu residents in UAE face this contrast, it prompts reflection on India’s trajectory. The writer, a private equity investor, emphasizes the importance of embracing diversity and secular values in both countries.

BENGALURU: On february 16, karnataka chief minister siddaramaiahpresented the state budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, highlighting initiatives aime [...]
The Tale of Two Temples:  Contrasting Realities in UAE and India

The Tale of Two Temples: Contrasting Realities in UAE and India

ABU DHABI: The recent inauguration of the BAPS temple in Abu Dhabi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlights an interesting irony. This grand temple [...]
AIMPLB Urges Government to Safeguard  Places of Worship Amid Rising Controversies

AIMPLB Urges Government to Safeguard Places of Worship Amid Rising Controversies

Hyderabad: In response to the recent surge in petitions targeting mosques, the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has strongly appealed to t [...]
Israeli PM Netanyahu and US at Odds Over Gaza  Offensive and Palestinian Statehood

Israeli PM Netanyahu and US at Odds Over Gaza Offensive and Palestinian Statehood

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the United States are in disagreement over the ongoing Gaza offensive and the issue of Palestinian state [...]
Sheikh Mishal  Al-Ahmad  Al-Jaber Al-Sabah  named Emir of  Kuwait

Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah named Emir of Kuwait

TEHRAN, Dec. 16 (MNA): The Kuwaiti cabinet on 16th December named Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as the Emir of Kuwait. Sheikh [...]
Pope Francis and Grand Imam Unite  Declare Support for Urgent Climate Action

Pope Francis and Grand Imam Unite Declare Support for Urgent Climate Action

Dubai (Aletihad): The joint declaration from His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb stands as a powerful [...]
Introduction of Private Waqf Repeal Bill,  Ahead of the General Election

Introduction of Private Waqf Repeal Bill, Ahead of the General Election

New Delhi: The Waqf Act is the latest target of fascist Hindutva forces, following masjid, azan, hijab, halal, and other issues related to the Muslim [...]
Jewish groups Criticize  Pope on  ‘Terrorism’ Remark,  seek Clarification

Jewish groups Criticize Pope on ‘Terrorism’ Remark, seek Clarification

VATICAN CITY, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Jewish groups have criticized Pope Francis and demanded clarifications over his comments that they saw as accusing bo [...]
Manila Invites Global Muslim Investors to Establish Halal Businesses in Philippines

Manila Invites Global Muslim Investors to Establish Halal Businesses in Philippines

MANILA: The Philippines is inviting global Muslim investors to establish halal businesses in the country, the Department of Trade and Industry said at [...]
Halal Certification Controversy – It seems Islamophobia is pervasive in UP

Halal Certification Controversy – It seems Islamophobia is pervasive in UP

New Delhi/Lucknow: It appears that in Uttar Pradesh, which is led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Islamophobia is reigning supreme. Islamophobic el [...]
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